previews

  • Richard Serra, Untitled, 1972–1973, lithographic crayon on paper, 37 3/4 x 49 3/4".

    Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    March 2 - June 10

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    April 13 - August 28

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    October 15 - January 17

    Curated by Bernice Rose, Michelle White, and Gary Garrels

    Richard Serra has described his sculptural practice as being grounded in drawing: Drawing as “cut” represents the division of a sheet by a line—and, in turn, of actual space by the edge of a steel plate. He has also approached drawing as a relentless, heavy application of medium—generally black paint stick—to support. And the huge “installation drawings,” which occupy whole walls, seize control of one’s sensation of the space of a room. Organized by the Menil Collection, Houston, this first full-scale retrospective of Serra’s drawings features roughly fifty pieces, including some made specifically for the show. It may well afford us an alternate history of the artist’s career.

  • Birth of the Modern: Style and Identity in Vienna 1900

    Neue Galerie New York
    1048 Fifth Avenue
    February 24 - June 27

    Curated by Jill Lloyd and Christian Witt-Dörring

    Birth of the Modern: Style and Identity in Vienna 1900
    NEUE GALERIE
    February 24–June 27
    Curated by Jill Lloyd and Christian Witt-Dörring

    The nineteenth century—and its bourgeois democratic ideals—experienced a spectacular demise in Vienna around 1900. This major exhibition at the Neue Galerie, and its accompanying scholarly catalogue, promises to shed new light on the material expressions brought forth by this profound crisis of cultural identity. Considering ornamented surfaces across the media of painting, fashion, architecture, music, and decorative objects alike as key sites for the negotiation of self, psyche, gender, and sexuality, the exhibition will portray the visual power of a historical moment that sought to mute distinctions between the fine and decorative arts. With more than 150 works by some 30 artists, including Alfred Kubin, Egon Schiele, and the Wiener Werkstätte, this show will enlist the material solidity of things to reveal modern culture’s evanescent vision of interiority.

    André Dombrowski

  • Luis Camnitzer, Fenster, 2001–2002/2010, books, concrete, 27 1/2 x 23 5/8".

    Luis Camnitzer

    El Museo del Barrio
    1230 Fifth Avenue
    June 20 - May 29

    Curated by Hans-Michael Herzog

    Writing on René Magritte’s famous pairing of an image of a pipe with the phrase CECI N’EST PAS UNE PIPE, Michel Foucault argued that the artist creates an “unravelled calligram,” in which text and image operate not in terms of glib resemblance but as a ruined tautology. This formulation serves as an apt entrée to the work of Uruguayan Conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer, whose photographs, works on paper, installations, and mixed-media sculptures often force art, politics, and the viewing subject into similarly untenable semiotic confrontations. This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue offer an opportunity to revisit Camnitzer’s more oblique investigations into language and perception through some fifty works made between the mid-1960s and the present, drawn primarily from the Daros Collection in Zurich, where the show premiered in spring 2010.

  • Glenn Ligon, Hands, 1996, silk screen, gesso on unstretched canvas, 6' 10" x 12'.

    Glenn Ligon: AMERICA

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    March 10 - June 5

    Curated by Scott Rothkopf

    Rightly associated with the identity-politics moment of the late 1980s, Glenn Ligon has never been wholly defined by it. Though he started with a few givens—being a gay African-American man coming of age at a time when notions of both blackness and queerness were in generative flux—Ligon used a restless intellect and a skill for evocative understatement to probe not just the particular but also the universal. This midcareer retrospective is slated to feature more than one hundred works (including paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, sculptures, and installations) as well as a catalogue replete with essays and a companion volume of the artist’s own writings and interviews—altogether a fitting tribute to an artist dedicated to making “language into a physical thing, something that has real weight and force to it.”

  • George Condo, Spiderwoman, 2002, oil on canvas, 96 x 80".

    George Condo

    Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
    Römerberg
    July 25 - May 28

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    October 18 - January 15

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    January 26 - May 15

    Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
    Museumpark 18-20
    June 25 - September 25

    Curated by Ralph Rugoff and Laura Hoptman

    George Condo appeared on the international art scene in the early 1980s with a series of phony old-master paintings, works that borrowed from canonized techniques to render disfigured portraits, subsuming the apparently contradictory tendencies of the moment: a resurgence of figurative painting and a predominant critical discourse on appropriation. At the time, the lines between the two camps seemed solid; in hindsight, the distinctions have grown murky. This exhibition, co-organized by the New Museum and the Hayward Gallery, will portray an artist ahead of his time, featuring some eighty works from Condo’s brash premiere to the present.

  • René Le Somptier, Le P’tit Parigot (The Small Parisian), 1926, black-and-white film in 35 mm, 240 minutes. Production still. Actor wearing costume designed by Sonia Delaunay. © L & M Services B.V. The Hague.

    Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay

    Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
    2 East 91st Street
    April 18 - June 5

    Curated by Susan Brown and Matilda McQuaid

    Color literally moved in Sonia Delaunay’s display of fabrics at the 1924 Salon d’Automne, thanks to a kinetic apparatus devised by her husband. The Cooper-Hewitt seems keen to minimize Robert Delaunay’s presence here, though; at issue, rather, is Sonia’s position at the forefront of modernist fashion, especially her contributions to Jazz Age glamour and her 1930s commissions for the high-end department store Metz & Co., where her name attracted business alongside those of other prominent designers such as Gerrit Rietveld. Striking a balance between the fine and applied arts in Delaunay’s oeuvre is tricky. “Color Moves”—brimming with more than 300 works in diverse media, from her 1913 illustrations for Blaise Cendrars’s poetry to 1960s silk scarves—will provide a stellar opportunity to scrutinize the fraught status of commercial practice within the avant-garde.

  • Koloman Moser, Sugar box, 1903, silver and niello, 4 4/5 x 2 x 3 1/3".

    Vienna 1900: Style and Identity

    Neue Galerie New York
    1048 Fifth Avenue
    February 24 - June 27

    Curated by Jill Lloyd and Christian Witt-Dörrin

    The nineteenth century—and its bourgeois democratic ideals—experienced a spectacular demise in Vienna around 1900. This major exhibition at the Neue Galerie, and its accompanying scholarly catalogue, promises to shed new light on the material expressions brought forth by this profound crisis of cultural identity. Considering ornamented surfaces across the media of painting, fashion, architecture, music, and decorative objects alike as key sites for the negotiation of self, psyche, gender, and sexuality, the exhibition will portray the visual power of a historical moment that sought to mute distinctions between the fine and decorative arts. With more than 150 works by some 30 artists, including Alfred Kubin, Egon Schiele, and the Wiener Werkstätte, this show will enlist the material solidity of things to reveal modern culture’s evanescent vision of interiority.

  • Laurel Nakadate, Stay the Same Never Change (Mary in the Water), 2008, color photograph, 25 3/4 x 35".

    Laurel Nakadate

    MoMA PS1
    22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
    January 23 - August 8

    Curated by Klaus Biesenbach

    Dangerously smart, dangerously bold (and frequently just plain dangerous), Laurel Nakadate has built an indelible body of work around her provocative investigations of psychosexual identity and female power. This PS1 survey, Nakadate’s first large-scale museum show, will feature over twenty projects from the past decade of her still-young career, showcasing a formal range that has recently expanded from photography and short-form video to include feature-length film—her 2008 Stay the Same Never Change was a critical hit at Sundance, and her new project The Wolf Knife was nominated for a 2010 Gotham Independent Film Award. The show is well timed, drawing a portrait of an artist whose conceptual focus continues to grow in nuance and depth as she harnesses a penchant for risk taking and unsettling candor within ever more complex narrative forms.

  • George Maciunas, Gift Box for John Cage: Spell Your Name with These Objects, 1972, leather-covered, red velvet-lined box, acorn, egg, glass stopper, plastic boxes of seeds, etc., 2 x 9 1/3 x 4"

    Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life

    University of Michigan | Museum of Art (UMMA)
    525 South State Street
    February 25 - May 20

    Hood Museum of Art
    Dartmouth College, 6 East Wheelock Street
    April 16 - August 7

    Grey Art Gallery
    100 Washington Square East New York University
    September 9 - October 3

    Curated by Jacquelynn Baas

    How to present Fluxus in a museum context has always been a problem. The movement was animated by performances and ephemeral transactions, manifestos and publications. And Fluxus objects were meant to be picked up and handled, not simply looked at. Perhaps to dislodge the notoriously slippery movement from conventional scholarly and critical rubrics, “Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life” focuses on the experiential and pedagogical. One hundred twenty objects, including Fluxus kits, scores, and games, will be organized around a series of questions such as “Change?” “Danger?” “Freedom?” and “What Am I?” The catalogue, presented like a Fluxus self-help book, includes essays by Baas, Ken Friedman, Hannah Higgins, and Jacob Proctor.